If you only make one excursion out of Barcelona - let it be Sitges. The resort has a reputation in Spain for being very high-class and fashionable with an artistic ambience. It's toleration of lifestyles is legendary, and combined with beautiful beaches, classy architecture, and a swinging nightlife - you will have to tear yourself away. Spending one night in the town is a must. It's hedonism is what Spain is all about.
To reach there is easy from the centre of town. The train station underneath Placa de Catalunya will whisk you to Estacio Sants and from there it is another forty minutes to Sitges. Barcelona has a zonal system and Sitges is in zone four, when you get to Estacio Sants watch the boards for the trains to Vilanova -and simply get off at Sitges. Spanish trains put the rest of Europe to shame along this stretch of coast. For a start they are double-decker and take double the number of people then normal trains. Classical music is piped aboard and you can relax watching the mediterrean glide by with it's whitewashed houses and palm trees.
From the station you can get a taxi (black and yellow cabs)or simply walk to the beach or centre of town. Dotted with hidden luxury hotels and private guesthouses - Sitges is an elegant little town. It's buildings are whitewashed and you will pass narrow streets, hidden courtyards and streetsigns made of azulejas (colourful tiles) The main tourist drag is Carrer de la Paralellanes with its restaurants, banks, shops, bars and discos and south of this is the pretty Placa Industria. This is the centre of the nightlife in Sitges, which can get pretty wild, and the famous 'Parrots Pub'. From here it is an easy walk down to the beach with its long esplanade Passeig de la Ribera. The beach is everything you expect it to be with toasting couples, outdoor showers and rows and rows of sunloungers.
Sitges is a magnet for the outrageous and alternative lifestyles are the norm. If you feel like bearing all there is a nudist beach on the western side called Platja del Mort. Hidden amongst coves and inlets is a pretty beach backed on by hills where you can join in with people who want to do the same. But Sitges is famous as a gay resort and really comes alive during the summer. The main hub is Parrots pub where all nationalities congregate before heading off to the clubs. The best thing to do is to go with the flow and join in the fun. Nothing can beat strolling home, happily drunk after tasting the nightlife in Sitges with your feet aching from dancing all night and then watching the sun come up over the Meditterrean...